Our story began in the USA with
August Fruehauf, who invented the
concept of the semi-trailer and setup a
trailer manufacturing operation in 1908.The company grew rapidly as North America developed and embraced the motorised age, also expanding elsewhere around the world. In the early 1960s Fruehauf formed an alliance and eventually purchased Norfolk based Cranes, an old established builder of heavy-duty trailers. Crane Fruehauf, the new company, introduced many advanced designs which were readily accepted by operators, developing a large share of the UK market and exporting to many others.
The American Fruehauf had subsidiaries in many other countries and was a major force in the trailer business worldwide, but encountered serious financial problems in its home market and went on to sell its European
operations to General Trailers.
This included the Crane Fruehauf
operation in the UK. Production continued in the plants at Dereham and North Walsham, but the group tried to control everything from Europe, cost spiralled, and the UK operation ceased in 2005.
Shortly after, Wordsworth Holdings
acquired the rights to the name and the product range, starting production at what had been the old Aveling Barford factory at Grantham.
Just five years later the operation went into administration. New investors came forward and acquired the rights to the name and designs and production restarted.
Loyal customers continued to buy the product, although confidence had suffered with this recurring cycle of uncertainty, expectation and upheaval. Production continued at Grantham, although the site was quietly
deteriorating. For while, things seemed to be heading in the right direction and new product ranges were introduced. But after a few years, things once again started to go downhill; funds became short, product quality and after sales support suffered, and the workforce – some of whom had weathered the ups and downs of the business in its many forms for many years – became dispirited.
The company was in need of a saviour.
In stepped a new British owner in the
shape of MV Commercial, a well-known national concern with a strong history of success in vehicle sales, rentals, contract hire and finance, as well as a proven track record in designing and building specialised vehicles and equipment.
Founder and CEO Tom O’Rourke said.
“We knew it would take time and a lot of investment to turn the company around, but the customer loyalty and the huge potential; both in the brand and the facility at Grantham, made it viable. “The location is perfect in relation to the rest of our depots and its gives us the scope to increase the range of services we offer. It has been a slog to get to where we are today, but we have big plans for both the Fruehauf trailer brand and the MV Commercial operation.”
Bob Beech, at Bulk and Tipper magazine
THE GRANTHAM SITE
WE’RE LOCATED IN THE HEART OF LINCOLNSHIRE
All trailer manufacture is based at our 64 acre site in Grantham, Lincolnshire, which is centrally located within the UK. The A1 has recently been connected to the B1174 south which runs west of the Grantham site, also London St Pancras and King Cross railway stations are just over an hours train journey away.
We offer market-leading turnaround times and our range of tipping trailers are produced entirely on site, including all engineering design, fabrication processes, shot blasting, painting, brand design and vinyl livery production.
Fruehauf is the longest established tipping trailer manufacturer in the UK. Our trailers have a long history of being robustly built, lightweight, dependable, and versatile enough to suit a wide range of industries and applications.
We pride ourselves on producing British built trailers to service the British agriculture, aggregate, construction, waste management and haulage industries.